- The Great Barrier Reef Facts
- Things to Do in Great Barrier Reef
- The Great Barrier Coral Reef Importance
- Threats for The Ecosystem
The Great Barrier Reef Facts
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem of the planet. This is about 10 percent of the total coral reef systems of the Earth. On another angle, it is the largest living structure on Earth. Also, it is the only living structure that can be spotted from the space.
This reef system stretches itself for more than 2,300 kilometres with the area of 344,400 square kilometres. This is more than the size of Italy which has the area of 301,340 square kilometres.
This ecosystem has been an important part of the culture and spirituality of the Torres Strait Islander people and Aboriginal Australian people for hundreds of years.
Where is it?
The Great Barrier Reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the east coast of the Queensland mainland of Australia.
How to Get There?
Since there are international flights, it is best to fly into Cairns International Airport. Cairns is the closest coastal town to the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is located in the northern territory of Queensland State, Australia.
The best way to travel from Cairns to Great Barrier Reef Green Island is by traveling by ferry. It normally takes 35 minutes to one and a half hours to get there.
Things to Do in Great Barrier Reef
In the traveler’s angle, it offers great adventurous opportunities for those who are into both budget and luxury travel.
A wide range of activities and experience provides the opportunity to appreciate the reef’s outstanding universal value. Whether from beneath the waves, sandy beaches, or from the air the reef remains the source of inspiration and wonder.
- Diving and Snorkeling along The Marine Park.
- Enjoy the outer reef cruise
- Enjoy the scenery of Whitehaven Beach.
- Trekking in the Hamilton Island.
- Adventurous activities in Townsville.
- Experience the encounter with dwarf minke whales.
- Explore the 7 islands of Flinders National Park.
- Join the Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.
- Wander in the Daintree Rainforest.
- Enjoy the time at Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.
The Great Barrier Coral Reef Importance
This amazing living structure and its surroundings provide a huge service to the entire world. It does an impressive job preserving the marine animals in this vast area. Also, it helps the country by protecting the seashore and being a tourism center and giving opportunities to develop tourism in the country.
Financial Support to The Country
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Being home to the marine life with so much diversity, it really is a place attract over 2 million visitors each year, It contributes more than 5 billion US Dollars to the Australian economy. Also, it creates so many job and business opportunities for the people who are attached to tourism, fishing, and nature-related activities.
The Great Barrier Reef Australia – Animals and Natural Ecosystem
It consists of around 3000 individual reefs with 600 continental islands, 300 coral cays, and around 150 inshore mangrove islands.
This is a habitat for the creatures from the size of microscopic to the largest on the planet. The below table shows why we must protect this amazing natural system in order to maintain the diversity of marine life.
|1||Coral (Soft and Hard)||600|
Threats for The Ecosystem
Coral reefs globally are under increasing pressure from climate-changing, coastal development, over-fishing, and other human influences. Increased sea temperatures caused coral reefs worldwide to suffer from coral bleaching. Periodic cyclones and floods can also cause extensive damage whilst the Great Barrier Reef is endured numerous impacts throughout its history and has a natural capacity to repair and regenerate increasingly it needs our help. Protecting coral reefs from climate-changing needs a global effort.
The Great Barrier Reef – Bleaching Threat
The world’s oceans, which absorb 93 percent of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases that humans send into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, are warming up 40 percent faster on average than scientists estimated six years ago. Roughly, 30 percent of the corals on the Great Barrier Reef died after the 2016 bleaching, which was the worst of the separate bleaching events since 1998.
The thing is, corals heal naturally but slowly. It takes about 10 years to recover a coral from such an incident. The case is, is there any security for another disaster will not take a place before the healing process is complete.
What is The Bleaching Event of a Coral Reef?
The spectacular color of healthy coral is complemented by the tiny algae that live within them. Actually, this tiny algae supplies 90 percent of the energy of a coral. When the water gets too warm, the corals commit a kind of suicide, expelling the algae, a major source of food. The corals then turn white exposing their skeleton. If the water stays too hot for too long, the corals starve and bacteria and seaweeds take over. Then These corals appeared with white color.
Remedies that are Taken
Australian scientists and naturalist doing some trials and researches to protect the Great Barrier Reef from this disaster. Testing the strongest species of corals and see how they react for the changes of the ocean, and trying to make them adaptable to the environment changes is also being done. Another method that they are trying is farming the corals until they grow and release back to the reef.
While enjoying the beauty, marine life, and leisure at this natural park, we must concern not to harm this paradise by any means.